- Associated Press - Saturday, April 26, 2014

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Carlos Villanueva’s nightmare season on the mound for the Chicago Cubs continued Friday night against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Villanueva surrendered 11 hits and five runs over five innings as the Brewers beat the Cubs 5-2, giving the beleaguered Chicago hurler his fifth loss on the season in six decisions.

“I want to help the best that I can here,” he said. “Obviously, when I am not giving the (team) the best chance to win it is a little frustrating.”

Despite yet another rocky outing, Villanueva actually lowered his ERA to 10.42 from 10.93.

“I felt at times in good rhythm. I didn’t feel I was getting behind too much. A bleeder here, a bleeder there. That has been the story so far for me personally,” Villanueva said.

Matt Garza pitched seven strong innings and Lyle Overbay hit his first homer this season for Milwaukee. Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun each had three hits and a stolen base for the Brewers, who have a Major League best 17-6 record.

Garza (1-2), who pitched part of last season with the Chicago, retired the Cubs in order in four of the first six innings. He gave up two runs and four hits while striking out seven and walking one.

Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless inning to pick up his 10th save in 10 chances.

The Brewers scored in the first when Cubs left fielder Junior Lake appeared set to make a routine catch of Scooter Gennett’s line drive but the ball sailed past Lake’s glove and rolled to the fence, allowing Gomez to score.

Braun’s single drove in Gennett, who scored as Lake airmailed a throw to the plate, giving the Brewers a 2-0 lead.

“The first inning obviously didn’t start off well,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “We had the fly ball that Junior (Lake) kind of misplayed. Not a very clean first inning, which put (Villanueva) in a position to have to work in quite a few more pitches.”

Villanueva said Lake apologized to him between innings.

“I know he is not trying to make a mistake. You can see the frustration in him,” Villanueva said. “If he didn’t care then he would be getting a different type of chat from me.”

The Cubs cut the lead to 2-1 in the third on Emilio Bonifacio’s run-scoring single.

The Brewers extended their lead to two runs again in the bottom half of the inning. With Gomez on first, Braun hit a ground ball deep in the hole at short. Cubs‘ shortstop Starlin Castro made a strong throw and umpires initially ruled Braun out at first. After a delay of two minutes and 20 seconds, Braun was ruled safe. Jonathan Lucroy followed with a single to score Gomez.

Story Continues →